Perceived constraints to public participation in contemporary Nigerian land-use planning
Keywords:land-use planning, marginalised groups, public participation, socio-ecological factors
Public participation (PP) has become a major feature of land-use planning, sanctioned by national and international laws as a platform for state, civil societies and citizens’ engagement. However, there is a dearth of information regarding ethnic minorities and marginalised groups about their interests and limitations in participatory planning. This article examines the level of citizens’ involvement and the constraints to participation in land-use planning. It analyses whether these constraints hinder some society groups more than their counterparts. These were examined using sampled participants in Nigeria. To test for the conceptual variance, factor analysis was used, while the likelihood of being hindered as against respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics was examined, using logistics regression. Findings show a low level of PP and yield a four-factor solution explaining 66.42% of the variance in PP. More hindrances to PP were perceived by ethnic minorities, the aged, females, tenants and rural dwellers compared to their counterparts. This gap between these community groups in PP was due to individual, community, and institutional factors. The article concludes that the structure of the Nigerian society still favours specific socio-demographic groups, even though the democratic transition and the subsequent constitutional amendments give all residents equal rights to political participation. There is the need for public policies, community and private investment to remove these constraints and make the PP programme truly public and attractive to all. The government and town-planning agencies may use the results in this article to help enhance their understanding of the hindrances to PP.
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